Bong Revilla to Binay: Stop politicking

Sen. Bong Revilla denies that Lakas-Kampi is politically dead

NOT DEAD. Lakas-Kampi President Sen. Bong Revilla insists his party is still a force to reckon with. File photo from the Senate website

MANILA, Philippines – Spent force? Politically dead? For Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr, Lakas is still true to its name.

Revilla chided Vice President Jejomar Binay for underestimating his political party. The Lakas-Kampi-CMD president took exception to Binay’s statement that the former ruling party is a “spent force” or “politically dead.”

In a statement, Revilla responded to the comments Binay gave the Philippine Star. Binay made the statement as he ruled out a coalition between his United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) and Lakas-Kampi.

Revilla also took a swipe at Binay for focusing on the 2013 elections a year early.

Kaya nasusuya na ang taumbayan. Katatapos pa lang ng eleksyon, eleksyon na naman ang iniintindi ng mga pulitiko.” (That’s why people get tired of politics. The elections just finished but politicians already focus on the next elections.)

Revilla said Lakas has already gotten feelers seeking its support for the elections but the party chose not to focus on the polls this early.

“Instead of following what other political parties are doing now, our party, through our members who are incumbent officials, would rather spend our energies on serving the constituency and addressing their more immediate concerns.”

Binay, who is running for president in 2016, has been actively forming UNA to field senatorial candidates in the 2013 midterm elections.

UNA is a tie-up between Binay’s Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan party (PDP-Laban) and former President Joseph Estrada’s Partido ng Masang Pilipino (PMP).

President Benigno Aquino III’s Liberal Party has said it is not threatened by UNA.

‘Lakas not GMA alone’

While UNA is seeking more coalitions with other parties, Binay is not interested in teaming up with Lakas-Kampi.

Founded by former President Fidel Ramos and former Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr, Lakas entered into a merger with then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s Kampi party for the 2010 elections. 

Lakas-Kampi is seen to have weakened after many of its candidates suffered defeat in 2010. Its standard bearer, then Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr., only managed to finish 4th in the presidential race.

Other members jumped ship to the Liberal Party.

Arroyo’s unpopularity and detention are also perceived to have further diminished the clout of Lakas-Kampi.

Revilla was elected Lakas-Kampi president last year. He is believed to be eyeing either the presidency or the vice presidency in 2016.

The senator thinks that Lakas-Kampi still stands a chance.

“Lakas is not CGMA alone. There is more to the party. We are a principled political party with Christian-Muslim Democratic ideals.”

Many supporters? 

Revilla said Lakas-Kampi will support senatorial candidates “consistent with the party’s goals.” He added that the party is open to discussions with groups seeking its support.

The party president said Lakas still enjoys the support of Ramos and its founding members, along with “a substantial number” of congressmen and local officials.

He said that Lakas-Kampi also counts as its supporters groups like the League of Municipalities of the Philippines, the Vice Mayors League of the Philippines, the Philippine Councilors League, and the Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas.

Revilla remained optimistic even after the failure of many local Lakas-Kampi members to deliver during the 2010 elections.

“Ultimately, the party that has the most number of performing incumbent officials is the strongest political party,” said Revilla. – Rappler.com